Film Depictions of Children as Modern Anti-War Crusaders

Authored by: Benita Blessing

The Routledge History of World Peace Since 1750

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138069138
eBook ISBN: 9781315157344
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



Cries of “never again war” echoed throughout the ravaged cities of Europe in the first years after World War II. At the center of these pleas for peace were children, portrayed in political and cultural discourse as the true victims of adults’ war-mongering folly. As early as 1946, cinema screens, long misused as instruments of propaganda by the Nazi party and its call to arms against enemies of Germans, became important sites for filmmakers’ accusations that European society had betrayed its youngest members during the war, and continued to do so by ignoring their needs. Peace movements in later years would deploy symbols such as Picasso’s peace doves and the tripod-symbol for nuclear disarmament, or focus on international personae such as the singer John Lennon or peace activist Angela Davis; later, the new peace movements of the 1980s in socialist countries turned to images of peaceful protests by citizens themselves against their violent regimes. 1 But these postwar peace movements began as soon as the war ended, with films of suffering children, directed by established filmmakers desperate to rescue these young victims from war and its aftermath.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.